Wednesday, October 31, 2007

JOANNA LUMLEY ON HOSTING THE BAFTAS

What are you looking forward to about the evening of BAFTA celebration?

“It’s going to be a fabulous night of entertainment, which I can’t wait to be around and of course I get to work with the absolutely lovely Michael Parkinson.

“The event itself is going to be spectacular but myself and Michael will just be these (hopefully entertaining) links between wonderful acts and variety pieces. I’m so excited to be working with Michael; I adore him and his show.”

Who are your favourite BAFTA winners?
“I don’t think people should measure themselves by award ceremonies, it’s absolutely lovely to get an award but we have so much great talent out there not everyone can win which is such a shame. It’s an honour to win an award but you shouldn’t be upset if you don’t.

“Sometimes I watch ceremonies and if they have 6 strong contenders you just wish everyone could win an award as all the performances are top notch. Don’t get me wrong it’s such a huge honour to win but you shouldn’t be bitterly disappointed if you don’t. Winning is like a Christmas star on your head.”

With tributes to classic programmes like Upstairs Downstairs what other programme would you like to see remade?

“All the shows I would love to get re-made are the classic shows that sadly no longer have the cast members alive. I would love to see a Porridge reunion but the lovely Richard Beckinsale and Ronnie Barker are no longer with us.

“I always think that sometimes the audience like to remember us as we were as opposed to now - much older – I’d hate the thought of someone saying to me “Didn’t you used to be Joanna Lumley,” which thankfully hasn’t happened yet!”

What does it mean to win a BAFTA?
“As I mentioned before, it’s such a huge honour to win a BAFTA but you shouldn’t be sad or disappointed if you don’t as they only have a limited amount of awards and not everyone can have their fantastic work honoured at once.

“I keep my BAFTA in my study, I won three awards: a special achievement for The Avengers and two for Ab Fab. I adore them and it’s such an honour to have them.

“I think the most amazing thing about British Television is the archive collection. We properly have the best television in the world in our archives – such amazing shows – Porridge, Morecombe and Wise, Jewel in the Crown, old Parkinson etc.

“I think television has changed so much now in the sense that people can watch it in such different ways (online, phone, DVD etc) that we’ve lost that ‘event feel’ to shows, in which the whole family sit down and watch together, those great 28 million viewers that Morecombe and Wise you used to get and then the day after everyone would talk about shows. It is such a shame but things change and move on.”

What have you got coming up?
“I’ve just finished a lovely film called Boogie Woogie, which was a joy to film. I play Christopher Lee’s wife, we also had Gillian Anderson, Alun Cumming starring to name a few.
“I’m also about to go off to India with my gorgeous husband to write a special feature for a magazine which I’m very excited about.”